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Credit Card CVV Number

Trying to make an online purchase and wondering what is the meaning of CVV? CVV is a features’ combination which is used in debit card, credit card, and ATM cards in order to establish the identity of the owner and minimize fraud. It is also referred to as the Card Security Code (CSC) or the Card Verification Code (CVC).

You need to note that you cannot pre-save your CVV, unlike other card details. Everytime you wish to make an online purchase, you need to enter it manually. Your transaction will be processed only if you enter the correct CVV.

Where to Find CVV On Your Credit Card

A lot of people often get confused between a credit card number and CVV number. A credit card number is a 16-digit number located on the front of your credit card along with your name, card expiration date, and type (Visa/Mastercard). On the other hand, Visa card and MasterCard holders can find their CVV printed on the back of the card. The placement might be different for an American Express credit card, where the CVV would be a four-digit number located on the front side of the card.

Components of a CVV

Now that you know what is the meaning of CVV and where to locate it, let us understand what are the two primary components of a CVV:

  • The first component is a small magnetic strip located at the top-side of your credit card. This magnetic strip contains digital data that is unique to the cardholder. When a credit card is swiped for making transactions, it is the data from this magnetic strip that gets stored.

  • The second part of the CVV is a three-digit number mentioned below the magnetic strip. This number acts as a security pin while making mobile/online transactions.

What is the Purpose of a Credit Card CVV Number

  • Protects Against Cyber Fraud

A credit card CVV number acts as a security feature and adds a layer of protection against cyber fraud when you use the card for purchases using the credit card payment as an online method. The card verification number is not a combination of random digits. Instead, it is a carefully generated number using a special, undisclosed, and precise algorithm. This makes the CVV number on the card both unique as well as safe.

  • Keeps Your Money Safe

As the Payment Card Industry’s (PCI) security standards prohibit the storing of card verification value, it needs to be entered every time an online purchase is made. This allows your funds to remain safe from any suspicious activity.

  • Protects From Hackers

As credit card numbers and CVV go hand in hand, hackers cannot use a credit card without a CVV code even if they get access to other information related to the credit card.

How Does Credit Card CVV Work

The CVV code verifies that the credit card was physically present with the cardholder while making the transaction. The code acts as a verification to process the payment. Online payment gateways can save details of your credit card such as the name or card number. However, as per the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS), they aren't allowed to store your CVV data. This feature protects your card against any credit card fraud as it is nearly impossible to carry out any online transactions without submitting your CVV number.

Upon entering the CVV, you receive an OTP on your registered mobile number. Thus, even if you misplace your ATM card and the CVV is entered, you will be informed of the initiated transaction via the OTP message.

How is CVV Generated

CVV number is automatically generated by the credit card issuer. You need not follow a separate procedure to generate it for your card. Each new credit card is assigned a CVV by the issuer before dispatching it to the customer.

Difference Between CVV in Credit Card and PIN



  • You need not submit your CVV number for ATM transactions

  • CVV is required for online transactions

  • CVV cannot be changed and is unique for a particular card

  • CVV are generally 3-digit numbers and are printed on the back of the credit card. The only exception is American Express which has a 4-digit CVV on the front.

  • You need to enter your PIN number for ATM cash withdrawal, doing balance check, or any ATM transaction

  • PIN is generally not required while making online transactions

  • You can generate new PINs after periodic intervals

  • Credit Card PIN is usually 4-digits. It is advised not to mention your PIN anywhere on the card for security reasons


How to Protect Your CVV Number

In order to protect yourself from any credit card fraud, you need to protect your CVV. Here are ways in which you can keep your credit card CVV number safe:

  • Do not share your CVV or other credit card details with anyone

  • Do not write down your credit card CVV number or store it in an online or desktop folder

  • Do not leave your credit card unattended

  • Use your credit card for purchases only on trusted websites that have https:// and SSL padlock

  • Do not enter your credit card details on unknown or unprotected WiFi networks

  • Install anti-virus software to scan your computer from any malware or threats

  • Protect your devices with a password

  • Do not share sensitive financial information over the phone

  • Keep a tab on your credit card activity and look out for any unauthorised transactions on your credit card

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FAQs on Credit Card CVV

✔️Where is the CVV number located on a credit card?

For MasterCard, Discover, and Visa, they are located in different places. While the credit card number is located on the front of the card, you will find the credit card CVV number on the back in the form of a three-digit code. For American Express credit cards, however, the four-digit card verification value is mentioned on the front of the card along with other credit card details.

✔️What is the use of a CVV number?

A credit card CVV number acts as a security feature and adds a layer of protection when you use the card for online purchases. As the Payment Card Industry’s security standards prohibit the storing of card verification value, it needs to be entered every time a purchase is made.

✔️Where can I use a credit card without the CVV numbers?

A credit card number and CVV goes hand-in-hand and you cannot use a credit card online without a CVV code. If you do not have a credit card yet, apply for a credit card at Bajaj MARKETS now!